Level 3

Plumbing, gasfitting and drain laying pre-apprenticeship

Learn from experienced industry professionals and get the basic residential plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying skills you need to get your own career started.

Programme highlights

The construction industry is in need of more skilled plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers and there is plenty of well-paid work available in New Zealand and overseas.

Get the knowledge and hands-on skills you need to take on an apprenticeship in the industry.

You will develop basic skills in residential plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying. You will be taught by lecturers who know their stuff. They are specialists in their field and eager to share their industry contacts with you.

As part of the course, you will visit plumbing businesses and suppliers of plumbing materials. These trips will help you keep pace with current plumbing supplies, installations and new technologies.

Aspects of this programme are physically demanding, please talk with an Ask Me! agent if you face fitness or mobility challenges.

Please note: A small component of this programme is delivered by a sub-contractor.

You may be required to complete literacy and numeracy assessments as part of this programme.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements


There is open entry to this programme although students must demonstrate a reasonable likelihood of success.

English language entry requirements

You will need English language competence to undertake this programme which is taught and assessed in English (an assessment may be required if your first language is not English).

Selection Criteria

a) To meet legal and health requirements, candidates must be physically able to carry out the practical components of the programme.

b) Where there are more candidates than places available in the programme, selection will be made on the basis of the following criteria:

i) Whether candidates have completed three years of secondary education;

ii) Candidates' academic achievement in NCEA Level 1 and/or NCEA Level 2, or Year 11 and/or Year 12 English and Mathematics; and

iii) Candidates' demonstrated commitment to the industry.

It is important for learners to understand that if you intend to progress to a Plumbing, Drainlaying and/or Gasfitting apprenticeship programme, you will need to register with the Plumbers Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board. The Board will undertake a check with Police to see if the graduate has a criminal record and will then decide whether the graduate is a fit and proper person to be registered. If the graduate has a criminal record this might exclude them from registration.

Give yourself credit with Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Did you know you can use the knowledge and experience you already have to your advantage?

Your previous work experience and on-the-job skills, volunteering, professional development, and other providers’ qualifications can be recognised as prior learning, matched against credits in our courses, and put towards your qualification – potentially saving you money and possibly helping you to complete your qualification faster Learn more.

Programme structure

Programme structure

You will need to complete the below five courses (70 credits):

Essential safety skills for PGD (18 credits)

This module will provide you with working knowledge of essential safety responses and how to apply them in given situations.

Patterns, tools, and regulatory and ethical considerations (14 credits)

This module will provide you with working knowledge of the regulatory and personal ethical framework and the ability to work capably when interacting with tools, drawing and sheet metal.

Introduction to drainlaying (11 credits)

This module will provide you with an overview of drainlaying as a career and to gain the knowledge and skills for excavation and trenching.

Introduction to plumbing (23 credits)

This module will provide you with an overview of plumbing as a career and the knowledge and skills related to water basics, water supply pipework and basic sanitary plumbing systems.

Introduction to gasfitting (4 credits)

This module will provide you with an overview of gasfitting as a career and an overview of the trade science in gasfitting including knowledge of gasfitting safety requirements.

Do you want to study a single course, without enrolling into the full programme?

Courses within some of our programmes may be offered as an individual Certificate of Proficiency (COP). Programme entry requirements and course fees apply. For more information, please speak to our friendly Ask Me! team.

Careers and pathways

Further training or study

Ongoing study is offered and managed through the relevant ITO (Industry Training Organisation).  You will need to be employed in your trade to complete Level 4 apprenticeship training.  Contact us to find out more about which ITO can support you with your ongoing study.

For potential salaries visit careers.govt.nz.

Career opportunities

Apprenticeship in plumbing, gasfitting, drainlaying or roofing; traineeships within the network reticulation sectors including water, gas and wastewater services.

Free study for the first year of your Level 3 or above qualification may be available under the government’s fees-free study scheme. Visit feesfree.govt.nz for eligibility criteria and more information. Students must be eligible to study as a domestic student. Free study for Level 3 may be available for 16 to 24 year olds (Youth Guarantee). Free study for up to one year for Levels 3 and 4 may be available under Māori and Pasifika Trades Training (MPTT), a government-led training initiative to encourage young Māori and Pasifika people to gain trade qualifications. All free study is subject to funding confirmation. Proof of residency status required. Entry criteria, and some costs, may also apply. Eligibility for student allowances or student loans may vary. Contact StudyLink for more information.

Information is correct as at 29 November 2023. Programme fees are based on a full-time student and may vary depending on your final selection of courses that make up your programme. To provide you with an indication of costs, the approximate fees quoted in this publication are based on the indicative 2024 fee structure. The indicative programme fees for 2024 do not include the Compulsory Student Services Fee (CSSF). The CSSF is an additional levy to your 2024 programme or course fees. Further information about the CSSF can be found here www.manukau.ac.nz/cssf. Programmes stated as eligible for free study in 2024 are based on the 2023 fee structure and subject to funding confirmation for 2024. All fees are in New Zealand Dollars. You will be advised of the current fees at the time of enrolment. All courses and programmes will proceed subject to numbers and academic approval. Manukau Institute of Technology is part of Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology. Te Pūkenga is accredited under the provisions of the Education and Training Act 2020. International students must study in class and will not be able to enrol for online study options.